Review: Durango (fu-GEN Theatre Company/Theatre Smash)

17884662006_0969683d59_zA family trip unravels; fu-GEN/Theatre Smash present Julia Cho’s play Durango in Toronto

Theatre Smash and fu-GEN Theatre Company have partnered to present American playwright Julia Cho’s Durango, a beautifully-written, character-driven script that centres on a Korean-American family’s road trip to the eponymous Colorado town. It’s a compelling portrait of a family buckling under the weight of expectation and struggling to re-define themselves and their relationships with each other. Continue reading Review: Durango (fu-GEN Theatre Company/Theatre Smash)

Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of May 19, 2015

Shows in Toronto for under $25

Here are this week’s theatre pieces you can enjoy for less than $25, along with the beautiful weather, and perhaps some icecream:

Burnish. (Erika Batdorf). This performance installation invites the audience to choose elements that affect an ever-changing loop integrating music, digital technology, poetic text, art objects, movement and singing. In a self-contained mini theatre, the artist, attached to bio-sensors, attempts to maintain a deeply authentic process that is altered by every interaction. Opens May 15 and runs to May 21; see website for times. Free. http://theatrecentre.org/?p=5013

Continue reading Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of May 19, 2015

Toronto Play Listings for the Week of May 18, 2015

Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week

If you’ve got nostalgia for classics or new takes on old tales, then this is a fine week of Toronto theatre for you. There are also plenty of new stage productions debuting this week. I’ve highlighted the shows that our editors Wayne and Megan would love to see this week with two asterisks ** and in red text. Perhaps they’ll also strike your fancy, or you may find something else that’ll tickle your interest. Continue reading Toronto Play Listings for the Week of May 18, 2015

Review:The Show That Smells (Or The Last Temptation Of Jimmie Rodgers) (Clawhammer Theatre)

The Show That Smells at Theatre Passe Muraille

“Funny and quirky” puppet show takes the stage in Toronto

Based on the title alone, I was looking forward to seeing Clawhammer Theatre‘s The Show That Smells (Or The Last Temptation of Jimmie Rodgers) at Theatre Passe Muraille on Friday. I figured any show that includes Jimmie Rodgers, Elsa Schiaparelli, Lon Cheney, Coco Chanel, and the Carter Family Singers has to be interesting. Add puppets and marionettes and I’m a happy girl. Continue reading Review:The Show That Smells (Or The Last Temptation Of Jimmie Rodgers) (Clawhammer Theatre)

Review: Harvey (Stage Centre Productions)

Stage Centre Productions' Harvey

“Zenned-out” Harvey, now on stage in Toronto, produces mixed results

In Stage Centre Productions’ production of Harvey, director Steven Jackson re-imagines the classic 1940s comedy as a Buddhist text. For me, this change in delivery and pacing makes the madcap comedy dull and unfunny more often than not.

Still, the audience – myself included – did manage to find a few hearty laughs in those parts of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize winning text that did hit the mark.

Continue reading Review: Harvey (Stage Centre Productions)

Review: Brimstone and Treacle (Precisely Peter Productions)

Nicole BT high

Brimstone and Treacle is a darkly twisted comedy on stage at the Sidemart Theatrical Grocery in Toronto

The set of Brimstone and Treacle was positively quaint in the middle of the small Sidemart Theatrical Grocery. It was as if set designer Rachel Forbes stole a living room from 1960s Britain and propped in front of me. It wasn’t a set, but a real home. If only I had been invited in for tea. I would have to be satisfied with sitting only a few feet away and watching.

Brimstone and Treacle was written by the late playwright Dennis Potter. The play was originally made for the BBC’s Play for Today series in the early seventies. The play was considered too shocking and was banned from the series. Even now, even though the content is not too controversial to be put on stage, it can still be called shocking. If I had pearls to clutch, I would’ve clutched them. Even with my dark imagination, I did not expect the direction the show went to. Boundaries were definitely crossed.
Continue reading Review: Brimstone and Treacle (Precisely Peter Productions)

Review: Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Outside the March)

Mr Burns

This Simpsons-themed musical, on stage at the Aztec Theatre in Toronto, misses the mark

Outside the March presents a musical about everyone’s favorite yellow-skinned family — The Simpsons — in Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play. The production features favorite characters, classic lines, music, and yes is “post electric” in that the entire show is done without the use of standard lights.

The concept has taken Toronto by storm. Everyone is talking about it and filing into the Historic Aztec Theatre en masse. It should be amazing! It should be, in a word, ehhhhhxcellent!

Continue reading Review: Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Outside the March)

Review: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Unit 102)

LastDaysOfJudasIscariot_2

Judas is put on trial in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, on stage in Toronto

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, brought to radiant life by the Unit102 Acting Company at The Theatre Machine, draws us into a court case—set in Purgatory—for Jesus Christ’s infamous betrayer. He’s been damned to Hell for handing the messiah over to the authorities and then hanging himself. Continue reading Review: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Unit 102)

Toronto Play Listings for the Week of May 11, 2015

Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week

If you’ve got nostalgia for classics or new takes on old tales, then this is a fine week of Toronto theatre for you. There are also plenty of new stage productions debuting this week. I’ve highlighted the shows that our editor Samantha Wu would love to see this week red text. Perhaps they’ll strike your fancy or you may find something else that’ll tickle your interest. Continue reading Toronto Play Listings for the Week of May 11, 2015